Merrily We Go to Hell 06/15/21
Marriage, social pressure, professional disappointment — and if you want to be really unhappy, add alcohol to that mix. Fredric March and Sylvia Sidney are convincing sophisticates but also vulnerable people negotiating fragile lives. What can be done when one’s mate is dissolving in booze and drawn to the arms of another? Dorothy Arzner’s best picture shows us a woman who won’t give up on her marriage, for the right reasons. It’s a serious and adult pre-Code drama, the kind that sounds more salacious than it is. Sylvia Sydney crafts a portrait of a fine woman under pressure, who maintains her dignity even in an attempt at an ‘open marriage.’ The unusual title is a light-hearted toast reflecting inner despair. The disc comes with excellent extras on director Dorothy Arzner. On Blu-ray from The Criterion Collection.